Feud: Bette and Joan Fans Lament the Meddling of Man and Publicity Machine

The second episode of Ryan Murphy's FX drama points fingers squarely at male interference for financial gain.

by | March 12, 2017 | Comments

Kenzie Dalton, Jessica Lange in Feud (FX)

The second episode of FX’s new Ryan Murphy show Feud, appropriately titled “The Other Woman,” drilled down on the feud at the heart of the drama ― or, more specifically, why it didn’t really need to happen at all.

Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you haven’t watched the second episode of Feud yet.

The episode begins with Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) getting her hackles up about the young, blonde actress (Kenzie Dalton) hired to play the next-door neighbor in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Part of the problem is Crawford’s insecurity about aging, but part of it is her worry about director Robert Aldrich‘s (Alfred Molina) wandering eye and penchant for blondes. He gets distracted by this PYT and suddenly the film is ruined.

Crawford enlists Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) as an ally in getting the neighbor girl re-cast and in doing so, the two begin to form a bond.

“We have to support each other, Bette,” Crawford tells her co-star. “I’m worried our director isn’t taking care of us, so we have to take care of each other.”

The fans were all in for this camaraderie.

But the studio can’t have these two famed rivals getting along, that’s not what the gossip-mongering fans want to hear. And it’s not what will open What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? on 400 screens nationwide, which was a huge opening for 1962.

This Feud fan sums up the problem:

Susan Sarandon in Feud (FX)

It’s dangerous ― for the men and the publicity machine.

Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) railroads Aldrich into fanning the feud flames and Aldrich complies, planting some vicious quotes about Crawford’s falsies in Hedda Hopper‘s (Judy Davis) column, allegedly said by Davis.

Crawford retaliates by not only going on record with some vicious quotes about Davis looking old, but giving the rebuttal to Louella Parsons, Hopper’s infamous gossip column rival.

What it all boils down to is these strong women, who really can rule the world when they work together, being pitted against each other by men.

Alfred Molina in Feud (Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

The saddest part is that both Davis and Crawford could use not only each other as friends, but Aldrich too. If he could keep it in his pants, and they weren’t so blinded by insecurity and loneliness, the trio could have been unstoppable — as friends.

Unfortunately ―

Feud - Stanley Tucci (Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

Aldrich is not acting in either woman’s interest. And don’t even get us started on Warner.

Susan Sarandon herself summed the whole thing up quite nicely:

Some observers in the media, however, grumbled about the episode being all feud, no substance.

Despite how depressing it is to think how amazing Crawford and Davis could have been as friends and colleagues if they weren’t being manipulated by the studios, the drama certainly made for an excellent episode. It explored exactly what creator Murphy set out to do: examine the way Hollywood treats actresses, especially as they age. Many viewers thought this was an even stronger offering than the premiere.

Feud: Bette and Joan airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX

Tag Cloud

Film Festival Mary Poppins Returns Comedy Turner CBS All Access Emmy Nominations Mystery Hallmark medical drama Holiday Pet Sematary LGBTQ Election Walt Disney Pictures Avengers TCA Winter 2020 Pixar Netflix Star Wars GLAAD TCA 2017 FXX romantic comedy TV Logo indie SXSW Red Carpet dceu Masterpiece witnail cats casting cancelled TV shows Trailer Netflix Christmas movies Rom-Com Showtime singing competition ESPN emmy awards Spring TV Holidays El Rey Freeform Vudu Adult Swim Paramount werewolf Hear Us Out fast and furious Watching Series streaming MTV cooking Food Network science fiction Quiz parents Action Nickelodeon 007 Trivia Ovation spain cops Trophy Talk Paramount Network Writers Guild of America critics best Endgame cancelled TV series Martial Arts screen actors guild 21st Century Fox video on demand Infographic Sony Pictures mission: impossible Esquire kids Animation a nightmare on elm street The Purge joker Western twilight First Reviews Schedule ratings Dark Horse Comics Ghostbusters Cosplay comics serial killer Fantasy Pride Month Creative Arts Emmys zero dark thirty Comedy Central Tubi Anna Paquin 24 frames MSNBC Oscars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina DC Comics Turner Classic Movies 4/20 Fox News latino Television Critics Association OWN scary movies movies Music green book name the review WGN criterion zombies robots YouTube Red all-time Character Guide chucky Amazon Prime Baby Yoda Acorn TV Apple TV Plus true crime crime versus tv talk Nominations psycho Shudder animated HBO Go Marvel Studios 2018 mutant crime thriller toy story Amazon Prime Video New York Comic Con natural history comiccon Fall TV DGA LGBT Spike ghosts 71st Emmy Awards classics 2017 spy thriller 45 cartoon YouTube Comics on TV Opinion comedies GIFs FX on Hulu superhero golden globes sag awards Marvel Television Tumblr RT21 Stephen King anthology Emmys sports disaster aliens 2016 Spectrum Originals dramedy blaxploitation OneApp Song of Ice and Fire cancelled crossover 20th Century Fox foreign satire CBS TBS BBC America dark Winners children's TV National Geographic TLC Arrowverse BBC One miniseries Awards Certified Fresh indiana jones worst game of thrones Star Trek finale Summer sequel jamie lee curtis Lionsgate TruTV stoner Biopics MCU Musical YouTube Premium Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt American Society of Cinematographers Premiere Dates Funimation Mudbound Countdown 2015 CW Seed concert video docudrama supernatural BET Sundance Now BET Awards Lifetime Christmas movies HBO sitcom Binge Guide films WarnerMedia biography rotten movies we love NYCC Country Pop TV based on movie crime drama batman anime PlayStation hispanic asian-american Hulu San Diego Comic-Con Winter TV Film Classic Film Rocky Valentine's Day cults DirecTV vampires Pirates Rock Mary Tyler Moore Crunchyroll Comic Book Captain marvel cars psychological thriller independent 2020 spider-man franchise Peacock USA space History Marathons Universal Superheroes elevated horror facebook politics revenge Women's History Month The Walking Dead Sci-Fi boxoffice ABC Family Cannes Disney+ Disney Plus GoT TNT documentaries canceled Christmas laika Starz mockumentary Grammys CMT theme song Warner Bros. FX Heroines Bravo Best and Worst Sneak Peek stop motion Teen The Arrangement romance Superheroe Lucasfilm Chernobyl NBC comic Podcast DC Universe E! Calendar A24 YA Nat Geo thriller Disney streaming service award winner Shondaland Cartoon Network BAFTA A&E spanish language Mary poppins hist IFC Films Mindy Kaling President quibi reviews game show historical drama transformers movie HBO Max Family Apple Hallmark Christmas movies breaking bad unscripted Crackle Tarantino richard e. Grant VOD Kids & Family television Discovery Channel dragons Britbox SDCC south america TCM Toys screenings TV renewals zombie Extras X-Men Box Office Lifetime Video Games Set visit IFC rotten CNN period drama ITV free movies DC streaming service series Television Academy political drama Travel Channel VICE The CW adventure Awards Tour Horror obituary Polls and Games ABC talk show Elton John Pop BBC adaptation strong female leads social media AMC Year in Review technology Musicals TV Land APB Epix E3 PaleyFest TIFF Disney composers travel book nature First Look Thanksgiving Drama universal monsters spinoff Amazon Studios Syfy halloween Photos USA Network VH1 binge Apple TV+ blockbuster festivals Sundance hollywood discovery Marvel Black Mirror Black History Month what to watch justice league doctor who dogs Tomatazos Interview The Witch cinemax TCA renewed TV shows Columbia Pictures die hard news See It Skip It slashers dc Sundance TV Disney Plus 72 Emmy Awards Amazon Brie Larson diversity teaser TCA Awards christmas movies Reality canceled TV shows police drama stand-up comedy SundanceTV FOX RT History PBS directors 2019 Super Bowl Rocketman documentary Disney Channel Academy Awards cancelled television Reality Competition war child's play Ellie Kemper harry potter nbcuniversal reboot